Successful remote care delivery starts with proper planning, and 3 more insights into telemedicine implementation

The decision to deploy telemedicine services should not be merely an afterthought: They require comprehensive advance planning, a dedicated staff and plenty of clinician and executive champions to ensure widespread adoption.

During the "Practical Uses of Telemedicine and Remote Care" panel session at the Becker's Hospital Review Health IT + Revenue Cycle conference in Chicago in October, two healthcare leaders discussed the challenges of implementing telehealth services, as well as the services' ability to eliminate barriers to care.

Panelists included Carey Officer, operational vice president of the Center for Health Delivery Innovation at Nemours Children's Health System in Jacksonville, Fla., and Stephanie Woods, MSN, DSc, associate chief nursing officer at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital.

Here are four notes from Ms. Officer and Ms. Woods' discussion on practical implementation of telemedicine and remote care:

1. Without sufficient advance planning, telemedicine initiatives are doomed to failure. This planning should encompass not just infrastructure and technology but, more importantly, overall operations.

2. When implementing a new, tech-driven solution, be sure not to spread staff too thin: Rather than having current primary care physicians double their responsibilities with the introduction of a telemedicine program, for example, hire more physicians specifically to oversee the program.

3. Since many clinicians may be skeptical of the physical distance inherent to remote care, it is crucial to secure physician champions and executive buy-in early on in the process of deploying a telemedicine initiative.

4. Telemedicine is just one piece of the puzzle: Telehealth services integrate well alongside remote monitoring efforts, streamlined patient portals and interoperable and accessible medical records, for example, to make healthcare more accessible.

Don't miss the Becker's 3rd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy event in Chicago, May 19-21, 2020. Click here to learn more and register.

More articles on telehealth:
Children's Hospital Colorado uses telehealth to diagnose fetal heart disease
Teladoc visits up 45%, hit 928K in Q3: 5 things to know
Former Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove joins board of telemedicine startup

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